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Monday, Apr 22, 2024

American Patriotism Should Be Reconsiderd

Author: [no author name found]

I am deeply concerned about America's "war on terrorism," especially in light of the recent elections and the passionate arguments put forth by many in favor of the war. It seems that we are making decisions as to how to deal with terrorism not based on logic, but intense emotions, in light of the terrorist attacks last year. I ask you, what are the facts that we have?
Now more than ever, people speak volumes about our patriotism. The president used "homeland security" as a core issue this election. One party is now in power of the White House and Capitol Hill. Times of intense nationalism and a weakening of the intended "congressional brake" on the presidency reminds me of how we were plunged into the Vietnam War, one to contain "evil communists." What did we learn and gain from that conflict?
I could argue that by acting irrationally only on intense nationalistic emotions would equate our society to the terrorists themselves. But I would be wrong because as many, such as New York Times magazine author Joseph Lelyveld, have illustrated that ironically terrorists are able to act almost more rationally. The evidence is their ability to plot and carry out their operations. Ignorant patriotism will only fuel terrorism.
Terrorism, in response to American foreign policy, has become manifested in some societies. Should we allow ignorance and only tacit approval of our government's actions to become engrained in ours?
Paraphrasing the familiar Bacon quote, I would respond that knowledge, and not patriotism, is true power.

Michael Stahler '03